NEW ORLEANS (Louisiana Record) — Suspended Hammond attorney Leonard E. Yokum Jr., admitted to the bar in Louisiana more than 50 years ago, faces possible conditional reinstatement following a recommendation issued July 31 by a Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB) hearing committee.
Yokum has made a good faith effort to pay restitution, has met reinstatement requirements and should be reinstated, according to the 11-page recommendation issued by LADB Hearing Committee No. 26. His reinstatement should be conditioned upon reading the rules of professional conduct and keeping a copy in his office, meeting all mandatory continuing legal education requirements, participating in "technology focused" continuing legal education courses and participating in a mentoring/monitoring program, according to the recommendation.
The recommendation was signed July 30 by committee chair Alexis M. Breedlove. Attorney member Rene I. Salomon and public member James R. Mobley concurred in the recommendation.
Yokum was admitted to the bar in Louisiana on April 26, 1966, according to his profile at the Louisiana State Bar Association's website.
In March 2012, the Supreme Court suspended Yokum for three years, retroactive to the date of his interim suspension Feb. 4, 2009, and ordered him to play restitution to two clients and refund unearned fees to two other clients. His prior 45 years of legal practice with no disciplinary record was considered in mitigation, according to the Supreme Court's order at the time. "He has been extremely cooperative throughout these proceedings, has demonstrated remorse and has a good reputation in the community where he resides and maintains his law office," that order said.
Since then, Yokum has repeatedly petitioned for reinstatement, including his first attempt in February 2013, which was rejected by the office of disciplinary counsel over application deficiencies, according to the procedural history portion of the hearing committee's recommendation. The office of disciplinary counsel objected to a second petition in September 2013, which was denied by the Supreme Court in January 2015.
In that order, the high court rules Yokum could not refile for reinstatement until he paid costs from his prior disciplinary proceedings and restitution "or made good faith efforts to do both", the hearing committee's recommendation said.
Yokum filed his third petition for reinstatement in December 2017.